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When Discernment Gets Confusing

Today, we hear from a lot of supposed spiritual experts who tell you that you need to take charge of your life. They use catch words like 'purpose,' 'destiny,' 'awakening,' 'enlightenment,' 'personal renewal,' and more. They peddle self-help books, seminars, and encourage you to seek your own voice. At one level, this makes perfect sense. God gave us a free will and He asks us to choose how we shall live. And He doesn't want to micro-manage every little detail of our lives.

But I'd like you to consider for a moment something that we would say is from the opposite direction. Why not, starting from the earliest years of our lives (or at any given time if we're a bit older), literally give over our lives to God? Why not choose utter simplicity in the secular domain, constancy in the Church domain, and a desire to offer our entire set of knowledge, skills, abilities, actions, and love to God?

But this isn't always easy. You say you want your everyday problems to go away and you need more help determining your path. But this can be unclear when there aren't pillars of cloud and fire lighting your way. So you ask yourself: do I dig down deep and keep 'doing more'? Or do I kneel down and pray more fervently?

This is where silence comes in. If you're not taking the time to let God enter your heart and mind, then you're clearly not going to get any answer as to the direction of your life. At the same time, if you're not acting on what you've heard from God, others, and what's already in your heart, then you'll never get anywhere either.

The truth is that in modern America, most individuals and families get into so much debt from an early age that they never really have a chance to stop, breathe, pray, and listen. The other truth is that Americans spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on leisure and pleasure. The combination of these two realities make it impossible to hear the word of God and build the courage to follow His will.

That is why discernment seems confusing these days. So, turn off the television, close the computer, and mute the phone. Read from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Find silence. From this posture you will find your divine path and that will make all the difference when it comes to building an eternal and inner peace.

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